Imperfections are part of the manufacturing process despite advances in quality assurance at every step. Engineering for manufacturing must always include the study of how imperfections affect the product and the manufacturing process, known as tolerance analysis.
Many of the imperfections propagate through the manufacturing cycle as variations in part dimensions and assembly constraints add up across the supply chain and over time. Tolerance analysis offers a way to understand the sources of variation and how the sum of the individual variations affect the capability of products to be manufactured correctly and function as designed.
There are a variety of ways to bring tolerance analysis into the product design and manufacturing workflow. The goal is to gain a complete understanding of how imperfections in manufacturing and assembly affect how a product meets customer expectations.
An example of variation that causes imperfection would be an electrical device created from parts from multiple sources. For safety reasons a power supply may need to be located a minimum distance from adjacent components. A tolerance analysis can show whether or not the nominal required clearances are being met, given both the manufacturing and assembly variability. Individual parts may be up to spec, but the product may fail if these subtle issues are not taken into consideration.
Analyzing tolerances and variations during design helps engineers avoid time-consuming and costly rework. Tolerance optimization during design has been proven to provide a positive impact on manufacturing, cutting time to market and increasing manufacturing yields.
Our Tolerance Analysis solutions offer both single-dimensional and multi-dimensional analysis methods, giving engineers an automated solution for the widest variety of tolerance analysis situations. Examples include:
- Comparing costs between two suppliers based on tolerance requirements;
- Reducing engineering change orders thanks to high-quality information made available earlier in the design cycle;
- Compare multivariate warranty and recall issues using automated analysis in the same amount of time as it would take to do a single variate analysis using a spreadsheet.
Working with Adaptive, we can help you mitigate risk and reduce liability by providing detailed analysis and reporting where it is needed early in the product development cycle.